Thorpe Manor House
Thorpe Manor House is a Grade II* listed property nestled in the Oxfordshire countryside and is just 30 minutes away from the Cotswolds. Opened in the summer of 2018, it is a property to hire for events such as weddings, private parties, corporate events, rural retreats and restorative weekends away. The house was built in the 1600s and, with its surrounding 200 acres of land; it is rich in history and atmosphere.
The grand country house is owned by Henry and Natasha Teare and they have a unique history with it. Henry inherited the estate from his Stepfather in 2013 and he and Natasha have been working on it ever since, up until the opening last summer. So it has been a few years of challenges and changes for them. Henry said:
“What was left of the estate, although charming, was in a huge state of disrepair. It took us 5 or 6 years to get to a good stage with it.”
But if you stepped inside today, you wouldn’t believe it that it had spent the majority of its most recent years in disrepair. They invested £3 million into the project to create the one of a kind, multipurpose venue. Upstairs, there are 14 spacious double bedrooms, and 13 bathrooms. Moving downstairs, there’s the drawing room, a bar, an elegant dining room, a kitchen for everyday dining, a cinema room and a games room, and even a gym. Then there’s the flower room for relaxing and peace and quiet, and the entrance hall is perfect for events and live music. Amidst the 200 acres of outdoor land Thorpe Manor has a courtyard, two summer houses that are perfect for events, a croquet lawn, an orchard and a Swedish style hot tub.
Thorpe Manor wasn’t always going to be the exclusive property to privately hire however. Henry said:
“The idea developed over time, our initial thoughts were to use a wing of the house as an air bnb.”
But it became clear the whole manor needed work. Natasha expanded:
“We both project managed the whole thing together and I designed the interior. Design and style wise, we both wanted to keep the original elements, not just because it’s a Grade II* listed building, but also because there are parts there that already give it a lovely feel. Key modern features of the house are things like the cinema room and games room –with rooms like that it’s amazing to have such technology in a house hundreds of years old.”
More modern comforts include rainforest soaking showers in the bathrooms, Nespresso machines in the bedrooms, and a film collection for the cinema room.
“At the start it was a very dark house, and one of the big challenges was trying to make the darker spaces lighter, or more accessible. We had a comprehensive lighting system installed in the older parts of the house, and then from that Natasha’s main focus was the colour scheme. We considered a wallpaper approach for every room, but that’s a big problem if it goes wrong or doesn’t quite fit. So we went with a pastel paint scheme. It’s so much lighter than it was before- extraordinary what paint can do.”
Natasha continued: “We didn’t want anything too overbearing because we wanted the house to be used for weddings, events, and parties. We wanted guests to be able to create their own looks for the house for their events.”
Delving deeper into the intricacies of Thorpe Manor you’ll find even more luxuries it has to offer during your stay. Their exquisite menu uses herbs and fruit and veg grown in the Manor’s garden, seasonal and local game and fish as well as brunch and vegan dishes. As a fine example, the fire pit lamb, which is slow cooked outside for 6 hours is a house speciality. There is room service included, and butlers and housekeepers to ensure guests have the most luxury stay they can. There are local walks and outdoor activities such as archery and musketry to be arranged, and the manor is on the doorstep of the village of Thorpe Mandeville. With all of these luxuries, and the dedicated work that the Teare’s have put into the manor, it’s just an added bonus to find out that the house was once owned by the Cousin of Oliver Cromwell.
Since opening last summer, Henry said his guests have been enjoying Thorpe Manor:
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. From a personal perspective, it’s never finished, we would like to do more, and there’s room for future developments. Transforming a family home feels like an asset we can actually do something with. Before there was water coming out of the walls, pipes were failing, now it’s a real home and it’s amazing for us and our guests. We had our own wedding here and it seeing it then, it was simply incredible and stunning.”
The couple are looking forward to helping guests make cherished memories and to carry on the Manor’s extraordinary journey. Natasha added:
“We’ve gone from the design side to the business; we’ve got bookings for the year and enquiries coming in almost every single day. It’s a great side of the project to be on.”
Charnley Sash Windows
Charnley Sash Windows specialises in the repair and restoration of windows and traditional doors, predominantly on listed buildings. In 2007 Charnley Sash Windows started as a small business between brothers.
The company works with a large client base from both commercial and domestic markets. Charnley Sash Windows has restored 1000’s of windows in a wide variety of buildings.
Most recently, Charnley Sash Windows was involved in the rehabilitation of Thorpe Manor House, repairing, restoring and draught proofing all the timber windows and many doors in the building. The company also replaced and replicated over 20 doors including the main front door and the garden room.
Chris Charnley, of Charnley Sash Windows, said:
“Charnley Sash Windows is dedicated to the restoration of original buildings as they form a part of our history. Every project is exciting and Thorpe Manor appealed to me personally due to the extremely challenging nature of the task at hand. It was a great pleasure designing and replicating each one of these in our work. The end result was a pleasure to see.”
“Restoration is a personal business and involves high trust levels from the start. Charnley Sash Windows are proud that the company has evolved on positive customer feedback and recommendation as this is a reflection of the dedication our team put into every window they work on.”
Sroka Property Services Ltd
Sroka Property Services was founded in April 2008 in Oxfordshire as a landscaping and decoration business. Over the last 10 years, the company has grown into a business that incorporates new builds, property extensions, plumbing and electrical works and roofing, all carried out with certificated and warranties.
Sroka Property Services prides themselves on being able to operate in the most demanding environments and have built a reputation on delivering projects on time, within budget and without compromise.
The company recently completed work at Thorpe Manor House which saw them undertake the entire decoration, plastering and carpentry aspects inside, as well as a full landscape programme to the front, rear and side of the property,
Commenting on the work undertaken at Thorpe Manor, Sroka Managing Director, Kris Sroka said: “Thorpe Manor was quite an important project to us. The job came from a recommendation so it was important to deliver the project to such a high standard. I like rescuing sites like this one so it was nice to be involved and give our full commitment.”
As well as Thorpe Manor, Sroka has delivered projects at Abingdon Private School, where they decorated the site and helped to refurbish and decorate The Corn Exchange in Witney Town Hall.
Kris added: “I am proud at how the company is growing and the work we are now doing. We are now doing another manor house in Oxfordshire (this Manor House is Shipton Manor in Shipton-on-Cherwell, similar work provided by Sroka Ltd as was in Thorpe Manor House) and if you compare the work we are doing now to what we did 7-8 years ago, it is a big jump for us.”
In their own words…
With the help and expertise of the Signature Kitchens design team; you will be able to create your dream kitchen. Using the very latest and most advanced Computer Aided Design Software available to the industry, they will be able to plan your kitchen down to the smallest detail. This enables them to produce virtual images and 3D walkthroughs for you to visualise your kitchen before manufacture.
The service Signature Kitchens provides gives the client an accurate view of how their completed design will look and enables them to guarantee that all elements of the design and manufacturing process will work, saving time and money lost on costly errors.
Having been in operation for 18 years, the team at Signature Kitchens has over 32 years’ experience in the industry and has completed work for a number of prestigious Clients. Most recently, the company worked at Thorpe Manor House where they completed the cabinetry within the kitchen together with Bespoke Bedroom units, as part of the sites refurbishment.
Commenting on the installation Gary from Signature Kitchens said: “I have been aware of the building for many years which has been in need of some T-L-C, therefore it was a great opportunity to work with Natasha and Henry to bring the historic building back to its former glory”
“It was a pleasure to work with Natasha and Henry. They knew what they wanted so that was a bonus and they were very pleasant throughout the whole job.”